You are here

annelipow.jpgAnne Lipow, renowned library trainer and consultant, died yesterday, September 9, around 10:30 PM, after a long battle with cancer. Anne was the founder and director of Library Solutions Institute and Press. She was the author of numerous books and articles, including "Crossing the Internet Threshold" and "The Virtual Reference Librarian's Handbook." Her "Rethinking Reference" institutes were recognized as being internationally significant and contributed to Anne's receipt of the ALA Isadore Gilbert Mudge/R.R. Bowker award for "a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship."
Anne was very special to Infopeople because she was the guiding force in the initial development of the Infopeople training program, and she was responsible for bringing Cheryl Gould to Infopeople. Over the years, she was always there for us, giving us new ideas, advice, and inspiration. The courage and style with which she faced the challenge of her illness was truly amazing. Anne will be greatly missed by all of us and by the greater library community.
If you have some personal comments or remembrances you'd like to share, please click on the "comments" link below. We will be sharing these comments with Anne's family.

Blog Categories: 

Comments

Comment: 
Anne came to Australia many times and inspired all who heard her speak. She took alternative approaches to her topic and encouraged others to do so as well. I came to know her through these visits and also through accidental meetings at airports and conferences all over the world. We shared meals several times and always engaged in fascinating conversations. I personally learned a great deal from her - she stretched one's mind and always had interesting perspectives to encourage further reflection. I am saddened indeed to hear of her death. She will be sorely missed by many.

Comment: 
Monday morning, Sept. 13--my husband and I were on the last leg of a two-week car trip to Portland, where I go regularly to oversee the care of my 90-year old mother. We were eating breakfast in the Wood Rose Cafe in Garberville, a lovely little organic-foods restaurant, and as I scanned the Chronicle I glanced at the obituaries. When I saw Anne's name I could not believe my eyes--somehow, I did not even know she was ill. In tears of disbelief I read the obituary, glanced frantically at my watch and realized there was no way I could get to Oakland in time for the services. Instead, we drove to a Trappestine monastery a half hour west of Garberville and--though I know this wouldn't have been Anne's "thing"--I sat in the chapel there and prayed/reflected on the dear, dear friend Anne has always been. We were colleagues at UC Berkeley--and when she became Chief Information Officer she asked me to serve as Editor of Library Publications. We worked closely together, and she was for me--as for SO many others--a wonderful mentor; she encouraged me to finish up my BA (finally!) and to enter Library School. When I got my MLIS, she wrote me an unbelievably powerful letter of recommendation for my first professional job (at the Graduate Theological Union). And when I was ready to move on from there, she again wrote me a glowing letter (for my current position at Cal State Hayward). But Anne and I grew closest during our two year stint as caregivers for Jane Pulis, the Germanic bibliographer at UC Berkeley, after she suffered cardiac arrest and subsequent brain damage. Jane's family lived on the east coast, so Anne and I shared responsibility for overseeing her care in various (many!) nursing homes in Berkeley. Many were the 2:00 a.m. phone calls between us as we decided who'd get dressed, go down to the nursing home and calm Jane down. We hired attendants, spent endless hours working with nursing home aides and supervisors; and of course, many many hours with Jane--talking to her, reading to her, massaging her, urging her back to recovery. Anne's tenderness and patience, love, respect, and nurturing of Jane were impressive, and represented a side of Anne many of her professional colleagues may not have seen. Jane left us in 1984--Anne called me one evening to tell me the long struggle was over; she'd suffered another, fatal, cardiac arrest. Now in my mind's eye I see Anne and Jane together again, wherever they are, chattering like the good pals and colleagues they were; someday I'll join them, hopefully, for some good gossip! My heart goes out to Steve, Stephanie, Jenny and Nicholas. Goodbye sweet Anne! I miss you... Judy Clarence

Comment: 
I've known Anne & Steve for over 20 years and want to add my thoughts to this wonderful list. Anne was kind, really wonderful, and, as our meetings for the past several years were always totally serendipitous, I am so sad to realize now that I've discovered her in an elevator or on a corner for the last time. I'll always be able to see her smile and hear her voice.

Comment: 
Just picked up the sad news in the San Francisco newspaper obituary. Anne had many friends in Australia as the Australian tributes to date have recorded. Her seminars and visits were always associated with innovation, liveliness and fun. To go to their wonderful house to meet Anne and Steve was always to receive abundant hospitality and stimulating conversation. I can still remember a wonderful evening that Anne arranged with rock 'n' roll music in San Francisco. The fact that so many people from around the world have recorded their memories is a tribute to Anne's global influence and impact. Her memory will live on Down Under.

Comment: 
Anne was a beacon - someone who showed us what a librarian could be, and more important, what a person could be. I feel very lucky to have known her, even for a short time.

Comment: 
Dear Steve: On behalf of Dagmar, Ulla and me, I send my most sincere and loving condolences to you and to Anne's children and grandchild. Saudade, Anne. Luiz Freire a exchange student from the 1980s.

Comment: 
Dear Steve, Stephanie, Jenny, and Nick, Anne profoundly changed my life in several ways - I will never forget her! She introduced me to my now husband of 16 years, she alone made it possible that Luiz and I were able to come back to Berkeley to spend three most amazing, exciting, and wonderful years there, she "re-introduced" me to the profession of librarian, showed me how proud you can be to be a librarian (something that I had never felt working as a librarian in Germany) and, looking back, it is probably safe to say that without Anne, Luiz and I would not have had the life we did....starting in Berkeley, then living in Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, Miami and finally Zurich.....it all started in that "fateful" August 1987 in Anne's wonderful house on 2135 Oregon Street. What a wonder and blessing that my life path was allowed to cross hers! Dagmar

Comment: 
Several people have asked if, instead of sending flowers, there is someplace they could make gifts in memory of Anne. I would suggest that people wishing to do so consider their favorite charity. I think if you asked Anne, these public institutions would come to mind 1. Library of the University of California Berkeley Berkeley California 94720 2. Berkeley Public Library 2090 Kittredge St Berkeley CA 94704 3. Belvedere-Tiburon Public Library 1601 Tiburon Blvd Tiburon CA 94920 4. Freedom to Read Foundation of the American Library Association 50 East Huron Chicago IL 60611 -- Steve

Comment: 
The following is the text of my remarks at Anne's funeral last Monday -- Suzanne Calpestri Steve, Jenny, Stephanie, Nicholas, Sydney, Toby, Ethel, Lee, Arthur, Family and friends I am honored to speak about Anne and her lifelong work as a librarian. For more than 30 years Anne was my colleague, my teacher, and my mentor. Anne was my best friend, my critic and my staunch supporter. Her achievements and contributions to the library profession are legendary anyone who knows her even slightly would agree on this point. Anne was a pioneer in the profession. She saw the importance of new ideas long before most other librarians did she thought outside the book. Her creativity was often stunning. She amazed us with her imagination about how librarians could create and provide services. Sometime in the 1970s when we were in a management workshop we took a test that purported to measure ones creativity. As part of the exercise we were to line up according to our scores --- lowest on one end, higher scores on the other. Anne was at the highest end -- top of the creativity chain. Beyond creative thinking, Anne had special talents -- she could organize, network, persuade and implement. And she was persistent in pursuing her visions until solutions were found. She guided us and goaded us to do the same no matter how big the problem. Among her credits are document delivery services, faculty seminars, new methods for teaching library skills, and most recently virtual reference service all of these were considered radical at the time and are quite commonplace today. In her own words, she is the Director of Library Solutions! Anne was an activist for social justice. She was a founding member of the librarians union at Berkeley in the 1960s. She spearheaded the 1970s groundbreaking womens report linking gender issues and pay equity as a result librarians salaries were adjusted upward. Anne was committed to the ideals and values of librarianship in particular free access, and uncensored collections. If you asked Anne what she would want to be remembered for, she would tell you about her expert testimony over several years against the mandated use of filtering programs on internet terminals in public libraries. Anne contributed to the early successes that took the case to the supreme court as U.S. vs the American Library Association. Some say Anne was a role model for librarians. Indeed she was. Anne challenged each of us to make a difference and she demonstrated how the library was a perfect place for doing just that. By her example (and patient coaching) many became better librarians. Beyond that, she inspired people to want to become librarians. Annes enthusiasm for librarianship was boundless. How could you want to do anything else with your life? To Annes credit both of her daughters entered the profession Jenny is the Marketing Manager for Library Solutions and served as Annes trusted advisor. Stephanie, a medical librarian is Annes ideal of the modern librarian and the one Anne chose as her personal librarian. Stephanie and Jenny, you both exemplify the new generation of information professionals inspired by your mother. You may not know that you too inspired her and that she thought of you as her highest professional achievements. Anne was an incredible networker --- and did she have a network. She delighted in finding threads of commonality between different people she knew, introducing them to one another in ways that would lead to great synergy, as well as consequential benefits for libraries and society. Much of this networking happened spontaneously stop by her booth at ALA and you would be connected to someone you needed to know. Because Anne had so many friends, countless connections were made, and many valuable collaborations were initiated. These Anne-enabled partnerships allowed a lot of us to accomplish things we never dreamed possible. To be in Annes circle was to enjoy but one degree of separation in a world where six degrees is the norm. This network of friends was Annes lifeblood. Anyone who saw her in the past months observed the energy and sparkle generated when she was with her friends. She loved getting the latest update on events. On my last visit we talked about the latest happenings in the library and her favorite organization the Information Futures Institute. In classic Anne mode, her last words to me were -- I feel all caught up now We hugged, said I love you. I will miss my colleague, my teacher and my mentor, but I mourn the loss of my best friend. We had wonderful times just doing ordinary things having lunch, shopping for clothes, planning parties and girl-talk when we traveled. She might start off with something like Tell me how to think about THIS ONE . Thats when we really connected and thats what made our relationship extraordinary. Heres what I know from those intimate moments. Anne cherished the we in her life with Steve. She placed the highest value on his advice in all manner of things. When she said Steve says that meant this is an important idea and we have to factor it into our thinking .. somehow Anne was a devoted mother to Jenny, Stephanie and Nicholas. She LOVED her children on good days and on bad ones too. She talked about their present lives and remembered with great fondness their childhood days special events at school and the like. She wrote clever songs about each of them with endearing lyrics. She ADORED Sydney and Toby she had songs for them too -- and she never left home without Sydney and Toby pictures a whole album full. Her only regret when she got the awful news on April 22 was that she would not see her grandchildren grow up. That thought made her cry. And as for our last party heres the scoop. In early June, after Anne started chemo, she told me that our friend Elaine Sloan would be visiting from New York in July. We arranged to get together July 10 and Anne said she would fix dinner. I worried that Anne would not be able to cook, but let her plan things her way. As the weeks went by Anne became weak from the chemo but the dinner was still on. I said I would fix dinner and bring it over. When I asked Anne what she was eating thinking I could work a menu around her diet she answered -- watermelon tastes really good. Her condition worsened and she was hospitalized. Elaine wondered whether she should come after all. Would it be too late? But the transfusions had worked and by July 4 Anne was home with Steve taking care of her and help from hospice. Elaine arrived and dinner was still on! In the meantime word was out that Anne was home and accepting visitors. The house was abuzz from morning til night with friends and family easily 50 people visited each day. When I arrived July 10 with Elaine in tow and dinner in the ice chest, Annes first words to me were I hope you brought lots of food Ive invited quite a few people to stay for dinner. Knowing her as I do, I had counted on there being more than just the 3 of us. I said we would have plenty. As people dropped in for a visit and then decided to stay, our little dinner of 3 old friends was fast becoming a big party. We were having the time of our lives. And thankfully, there was enough food. The next morning Anne called and said, Did you know that there were 31 people here for dinner? We laughed. Anne is the best friend a person could hope to have. She was honest about my shortcomings and she always played to my strengths. She understood what was important to me and she supported me throughout. She was generous on all fronts always caring loving and giving. Thats the kind of friend she was to many. It is no wonder that her friends came from all over the world just to have one more visit with Anne. Even as she lay ill she always wanted to know about what the other person was doing. Tell me about your new job she would say, listening attentively. And then she would offer an Anne pearl of wisdom. Steve, thank you for opening your home and your heart at such a difficult time -- so that we could all say goodbye to Anne. We know how much she loved you and we extend our love to you and the the Lipow, the Grodzins and the Silberstein families.

Comment: 
It is now round about a year ago as we, Donatus Florentin Bayer and I travelled to San Francisco. We have been there on our worldtrip. And of course we wanted to have a closer look to S.F.. In this time, august last year, it was my birthday far away from Germany and we celebrated it Anne´s house together with a few friends. We had a very nice time and I was so graceful having a familiar place. I will never forget this birthday. We would have liked to say thank you to Anne for all she had done for us but when our jorney ended, Anne was already in hospital and noz able to read our email. We are so sorry that she never read these words... Friedrich

Pages